Healthcare Partners

Operations Control Centre

The Operations Control Centre (OCC) is the 24/7 hub that coordinates approximately 20,000 patient-related transports each year using helicopters, fixed wing aircraft, and critical care land ambulances from various bases across Ontario.

Operations Control Centre Services

Ornge's Operations Control Centre (OCC) coordinates all logistics related to Ornge medical transports.  Located in Mississauga, it is staffed with Communication Officers who ensure that each medical transport request is assigned the proper medical personnel and equipment in order to provide patients with the best possible care in the most efficient way possible. Read more about our OCC below, or learn more about the four different response categories on the Response Types page.

OCC’s role includes:

  • Coordination of all medical transport communication 
  • Resource allocation (helicopter, airplane or critical care land ambulance)
  • Assessing each patient’s required level of care, with support from Transport Medicine Physicians (TMPs) who also provide clinical advice on patient management and triage
  • Operation of the Provincial Transfer Authorization Centre (PTAC) which monitors the spread of infectious diseases by screening patient transfers between facilities
  • Organ transport coordination with Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN)

OCC Service Commitment

Ornge’s Operations Control Centre is committed to ensuring high quality communications services are provided at all times to hospitals, nursing stations, ambulance services and Central Ambulance Communications Centres.  OCC staff will make every effort to ensure that all stakeholders are informed of significant or changing details for their request for service in a timely manner, and that communications services are delivered in accordance with key performance indicators, as set out in the Performance Agreement.

Transport Medicine Physicians (TMP)

Ornge Transport Medicine Physicians are emergency medicine or critical care specialists who are immediately available 24/7 and play an active role in determining mode of transport and crew configuration based on the patient’s condition. The physician is directly involved with the call from its beginning to patient delivery at the receiving facility.
TMP’s role:

  • Triage, ensuring timely response to the most critically ill or injured patients
  • Support to sending facilities on preparation of the patient for transport before the Ornge paramedics arrive
  • Support to Ornge paramedics, including medical direction on management of the patient in transport
  • Support to Communication Officers to assist with timely medical and resource decision-making in relation to the medical needs to all patients currently being transported by Ornge

Coordination of Medical Transport
Ornge has limited air and land ambulance resources and must address the needs of patients on the basis of medical priority.  Like a hospital, Ornge triages requests. In some cases this results in resources being redirected from one call to another.

Triage decisions are made by Ornge transport physicians on the basis of information they receive at the time of a call from the local medical staff. Many factors are taken into account when triage or resource reassignment decisions are made such as:
  • Patient condition
  • Sending hospital capabilities
  • Distance to destination hospital
  • Availability of local EMS resources
  • Operational occurrences
  • Weather conditions
If Ornge a resource is reassigned, every effort is made to find an alternative and advise the sending facility staff of the change in the estimated time of arrival. Sending hospitals and their medical staff have the ability to speak directly to an Ornge transport medicine physician to discuss their patient and make inquiries.
Organ Transport Coordination
Ornge is the primary provider of organ transport services by air for Ontario-based organ transplant recipients and organ donation surgical recovery teams. Ornge is responsible for the rapid transport of recovered organs, and the medical teams to transplant centres throughout Ontario.

Transport of Non-Acute Organ Recipients
Ornge agrees to transport organ recipients that do not meet our Scope of Service criteria in the following circumstances:
  • The transport is >240kms (150 miles) from the transplant facility;
  • The patient is in a geographic location where due to time restrictions may have no other means to arrive at the facility in time to have a successful procedure;
  • All other traditional transportation options, which would be typically appropriate for this patients condition have been considered and have been deemed by the Transplant Recipient Coordinator to logistically decrease the possibility for a successful transplant; or
  • The request for Ornge service is placed by the Transplant Recipient Coordinator of the receiving facility by contacting the Ornge Communication Centre at: 1-800-387-4672
Note: Ornge fulfilling this request will be contingent on aircraft availability and weather.

The following information must be available at the time of the request:
  • Confirmation that the patient has met the criteria;
  • Receiving facility name and location;
  • Receiving physician name;
  • Patient’s OHIP number;
  • Contact information for, and physical location of the patient; and
  • Time requirements for transport for a successful procedure.
Note: Transportation of ambulatory non-acute patients to the outgoing airport and from the receiving airport must be arranged by the Transplant Recipient Coordinator.
All acute patients that meet Ornge Scope of Service criteria will continue to be transferred by normal means as per usual. When making these arrangements, should you have any questions or concerns please ask to speak to an Operations Manager - on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.